Looking for more of a “Mediterranean flare” to your meals?  Here’s just the salad to get you started. Say “hello” to delicious meets nutritious.  From the fresh vegetables making your kitchen smell amazing to the pleasing and appetizing flavorful taste, this salad is a winner. Add a glass of red wine and you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to the Mediterranean.

Whether for lunch or a light dinner, this easy Greek Salad with Hummus fits the bill for following a Mediterranean way of eating.  Ranked as a top-notch way for improving heart health, the Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan based on typical foods and recipes of Mediterranean-style cooking found in areas such as Greece, France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal. These foods focus on including lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, fish and poultry, whole grains, herbs and spices and healthy oils such as olive oil.

Greek salad – aka as Khoriatiki salad – is a well-known classic dish that’s light, refreshing and brimming with flavor coming from fresh vegetables, olives, tomatoes, red onion and feta cheese. Super simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients, it’s perfect for a quick lunch or a light dinner, especially when paired with a crusty loaf of bread.

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussato

My version of Greek salad is a slightly different take.  I like my leafy greens so I used bagged spring mix salad along with the other ingredients.  If you find red onions’ sharp flavor too strong, soak the chopped onions in vinegar or lemon juice for several minutes before adding to the salad.

One ingredient in this recipe is Kalamata olives which may be new to you. They are usually stocked in grocery stores alongside canned or jarred green and black olives. Kalamata olives are found on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece and are a common ingredient in many traditional Greek salads. Kalamata olives are different from green or black olives as they have a more intense flavor. These dark fruits – yes, olives are a fruit – enhance recipes as well as serve up a host of nutty-flavored nutritional benefits of good-for-you monounsaturated fats beneficial to heart health.

I used whole wheat pita bread – just as filling and tasty as regular bread – to go with the hummus. To round out the meal, I diced up fresh mango for a delicately sweet touch providing a nice balance of delicious flavors.

So, what are you waiting for, it’s time to go Greek by serving up this salad today!

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussato

Easy Greek Salad with Hummus – serves 2 ½ cups salad or about 2-3 servings

Nutrition per serving: Calories – 275; Total Fat – 20 grams; Protein – 6 grams; Carbohydrate – 17 grams; Fiber – 4 grams; Sodium – 450 milligrams

Ingredients:

3 cups bagged spring mix salad – arugula can also be used too

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup cucumber, thinly sliced and halved

1 tablespoon red onion, chopped

1/3 cup green pepper, chopped

½ cup Kalamata olives – buy already pitted olives

½ cup canned chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)

½ cup feta cheese – crumbled or cubed, whichever you prefer

Greek Salad Dressing:

3/4 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon oregano, dried or fresh

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the salad dressing in a small bowl and mix. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Toss the spring mix salad in a bowl with the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, green peppers, Kalamata olives, and chickpeas, tossing gently to combine.
  3. Pour the already prepared Greek Salad dressing over the salad, add the feta cheese and toss gently to combine.

Note: This salad can be made without using any leafy greens.  If you make it without using leafy greens, it can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.

Categories: Recipes

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Cheryl Mussatto

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia, found on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.

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